BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)– Baltimore is seeing an increase in kids not showing up for class, violating the city’s daytime curfew policy.
Tracey Leong explains how the mayor is working to fix this problem.
More than a dozen kids are ditching school every week and the city has a plan to get them back on track.
“Kids need rules and boundaries,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Daytime youth connection centers will be expanding operations, but they’re not an alternative to school. They’ll be staffed with counselors to provide support and guidance.
“This is not about criminalizing our children, this is about reaching our children before they find themselves in a situation where the only option left is law enforcement,” said the mayor.
Since last year the mayors office began enforcing nighttime and daytime curfews. The nighttime curfew requires kids under 14 to be with an adult from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Youth 14 to 16 with an adult from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and the daytime curfew is 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.–when kids are expected to be in school.
Baltimore has seen a dramatic decrease in kids staying out at night, so now they’re focusing their resources on getting kids back to class during the day.
“Will help us to do our part to make sure our children are out of harms way and will help us to make sure they are getting a good education,” the mayor said.
Parents echoing the same sentiment.
“If my kids skipped school to do something else, they’d be in trouble with me, I wouldn’t take that,” said one parent.
“I want this little girl to be a doctor, lawyer, president if she wants to she has to stay in school,” another parent said.
Students’ guardians could be issued a citation or go to counseling for the first violation and for kids who violate multiple times their guardians could pay a fine of $500.
One nighttime center will be closing to accommodate two daytime ones that will be opening.